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Results-Oriented Team Management

Published on September 14, 2012, by in NFL.

It's Not Your Fault
“It’s not your fault.”

Thursday’s match-up was brutal. Like many others following the game, I found myself full of bitter regret. For me, it was James Jones. For others, it could have been Randall Cobb, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Jermichael Finley – abysmal performances from the lot of them. The entire night was a bit of a train wreck for both sides, but luckily it ended with an eventual winner.

Unfortunately, that winner wasn`t you if you had any one of the above-mentioned players in your starting line-up. A perfect storm of multiple interceptions, mistimed routes, dropped passes, impressive defense, and the Chicago O-Line laying down a welcome mat for the Green Bay secondary resulted in some staggering fantasy lines.

There were some nice takeaways for football fans – the trickery of the Green Bay field goal fake, Cutler’s moves in the pocket to avoid being sacked a few extra times, and Rodgers’ intensity as he was reaming out Jones after a missed opportunity were a couple of the highlights (I’d call the relentless sacks throughout the game a highlight, but after they hit the double digits they just get repetitive). From a fantasy football player’s perspective though, it was a death sentence for the week’s match-up.

It’s easy to look back and see what we could have done instead of what we did but the truth is, most of these players had stellar week 1 performances. Who would bench Marshall or Cutler after the Bears’ season opener? You’d be crazy not to run with them again in week 2. With Greg Jennings ruled out prior to the game, it made perfect sense to give James Jones or Randall Cobb a starting slot in what was figuring to be a shoot-out at Lambeau Field. Some of your decisions likely burned you in week 2 but you shouldn’t let the results of the games make you second-guess sound methodology. If you based your decisions on week 1 results, match-up information, analysis of defense, and injury reports, you probably made the right ones.

Let’s take a look at the comparisons between the first 2 games of the season.

Jay Cutler Week 1 Week 2 % Change
Completions 21 11 -47.62%
Attempts 35 27 -22.86%
Yards 333 126 -62.16%
Percentage 60 40.7 -32.17%
Y/A 9.5 4.7 -50.53%
Sack 2 7 250.00%
Yards Lost 19 52 173.68%
TDs 2 1 -50.00%
INT 1 4 300.00%
Rating 98.9 28.2 -71.49%
Fantasy Points 25.42 -2.26 -108.89%


Brandon Marshall Week 1 Week 2 % Change
Receptions 9 2 -77.78%
Yards 119 24 -79.83%
Average 13.2 12 -9.09%
Long 24 14 -41.67%
TDs 1 0 -100.00%
Fantasy Points 26.9 4.4 -83.64%


Jermichael Finley Week 1 Week 2 % Change
Receptions 7 4 -42.86%
Yards 47 26 -44.68%
Average 6.7 6.5 -2.99%
Long 16 16 0.00%
TDs 1 0 -100.00%
Fantasy Points 17.7 4.6 -74.01%


Randall Cobb Week 1 Week 2 % Change
Receptions 9 1 -88.89%
Yards 77 20 -74.03%
Average 8.6 20 132.56%
Long 16 20 25.00%
TDs 0 0
Kick Return Yards 73 21 -71.23%
KR TD 0 0
Punt Return Yards 80 16 -80.00%
PR TD 1 0 -100.00%
Fantasy Points 33.35 7.65 -77.06%


James Jones Week 1 Week 2 % Change
Receptions 4 2 -50.00%
Yards 81 -1 -101.23%
Average 20.3 -0.5 -102.46%
Long 49 4 -91.84%
TDs 1 0 -100.00%
Fantasy Points 18.1 1.9 -89.50%


It’s like night and day. Last week, 2 players hit 9 receptions. This week, all 4 receivers combined to only match that number. Their combined total yardage was less than all but Finley’s count from last week. Talk about bad. But the key is to not linger on what you missed out on. What you should notice is that this type of drop-off from most of these players, aside from resulting from injury or losing their position, is completely anomalous.

Too often we get tied up inside about what could have been if the outcomes matched the projections. I’ve looked at my league’s draft results after every single game to see who I could have drafted, who I missed out on, who I should have left for someone else. This is natural, but it’s important to get back to your roster, the free agent market, your next games, and move on. Avoid the self-loathing about past failures. Learn from them, but don’t let them deter you from making logical start/sit decisions. As long as you understand that not every pick-up, match-up, and week can go your way, you’ll be better able to focus on what you need to do in order to achieve your long-term goal of winning the championship, not just a single match-up.

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